They loved the weekend outdoor Eastern Market and the Smithsonian museums, which had just reopened. th, but it might be tempting fate to postpone a trip until that time. There may be another celebration for her 100
Whew! House Speaker John Boehner finally let the House vote and now we have a short reprieve before the whole battle starts up again. Or maybe the Republican Party establishment has had enough? It would be great if Tea Partiers had some wind knocked out of their sails, but the fight may have just whetted their appetite. Since they’re in safe districts, they face few constraints. Despite the end of the government shutdown, much damage has already been done. Boehner seemed willing to sacrifice the country and risk the world economy just to make sure he retained his speakership. A civil war is now raging within the Republican Party, which is fine with me.
Immigration reform is next and will be another test. It seems pretty obvious that if people are already here, living and working productively and raising US-born children, integrated into the national fabric however they got here, then we should welcome them because our economy and civic life need them. Unlike with new immigrants, there’s no need to put them through cumbersome immigration procedures and offer support services because they are already here, acclimated, and integrated into our system. Without them, we would be losing population, especially of working age, as is happening in Japan and some European countries. White Americans, once the demographic backbone, are not reproducing themselves in sufficient numbers.
The day before the government shutdown finally ended, I went with an idled federal employee friend to visit her daughter attending college in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. It is a smallish but growing city (population 210,000) with a population somewhat younger and less affluent than the state as a whole with more affordable housing than in the DC area. It has an unhurried charm and some old-fashioned houses and buildings. We ate a crayfish sandwich at local eatery and saw the old statehouse and a row of monuments to southern civil war heroes, including Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson. We also visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with a very respectable collection, including of African Art. We honed in especially on the Dorothy & Herbert Vogel exhibit, an eclectic collection of arts works acquired over decades by a childless NYC couple living in a cluttered one-bedroom apartment with their goldfish and pet cats. He was a postal worker, she a librarian. A video feed was shown of films made over the course of their collecting career and the gallery openings displaying their collected works. It shows Dorothy, the taller and more physically vigorous of the two, taking the lead. They only bought works they liked; also those they could carry home on the subway or in a cab. Their patronage helped propel many later well-known artists into prominence. Dorothy came for the Virginian Museum exhibit opening, as by now, Herbert has passed on. The story of their life and how they acquired their collection is almost more interesting than the art itself.
In the DR, as referred to above, there has been a disturbing high court ruling: http://news.yahoo.com/dominican-court-ruling-renders-hundreds-thousands-stateless-060317525.html
This is from Amnesty International’s London headquarters regarding the issue:
We share with you the Urgent Action AMR 27/014/2013 issued today by Amnesty International on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people at risk of being deprived of their nationality in the Dominican Republic and potentially being made stateless following the ruling issued last month by the Constitutional Court.
Did you hear about a 15-year-old African American boy, who had been living for years in foster care now making a request for an adoptive family? Standing bravely before the congregation at Florida church, he said: "I'll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be." A teenage black boy is usually about the hardest type of child to place with an adoptive family, as people are often afraid to try to be parent a kid like that, given all the baggage he brings. Of course, since his plea went viral, thousands responded from all over the world. I hope he is able to find the right family.
However, I also couldn't help thinking that as brave and sincere as that young man might be, now, at his age of 15, finding him a "forever" home now will not be a slam-dunk. Children who have been through a lot and are no longer babies usually have issues and need more than just a roof over their head and lots of love.
A couple I know adopted an adorable 12-year-old girl from overseas. They showered her with activities and stuff and reported on their experiences on a blog. Of course, it was all fun and games at first. But when the blog went dark, I was pretty sure the honeymoon was over. I e-mailed the wife who said they were now in family therapy and struggling. It's as risky to give newly arrived kids the Disneyworld experience as it is to neglect them.
I’ve previously mentioned Gabriela, a Romanian girl whose adoption I indirectly facilitated. She came to this country at age 7 after years of neglect in an orphanage. She has done beautifully since, in part because of her own spirit, but also because her parents, teachers, and therapists all gave her the right support. A good outcome doesn’t happen automatically.
In that regard Reuters has revealed a practice of dumping older kids from overseas via the internet when their new adoptive families don’t work out. Desperate adoptive parents unable to handle a child seek out a new home on line and simply hand the youngster over. Like much internet traffic, such transactions are hard to police, but maybe now that the practice is known, steps can be taken to better protect kids.
Evaristus Chukwuemeka Obodo is a Nigerian-based artist who works in fiber, cloth and other soft materials. His goal for his research is to focus on the woven structure of textiles and to rethink fabric and fiber visually and in its manufacture. He plans to compare and contrast naturally woven structures such as bird nests and leaf vines with African textiles. He will concentrate on the National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Natural History and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum for his studies.
Poor Evaristus, he not only had to buy a jacket because of cooler weather, but he is feeling a resurgence of the malaria from which he has suffered off and on throughout his life. It’s quite true that it’s not necessary to be bitten again by a malaria mosquito to suffer a recurrence, since the parasite may linger in the bloodstream. Fortunately for me, although I’ve had malaria more than once, I believe it’s only recurred through a new mosquito bite, as it only came back to me after decades when I was in the Peace Corps in Honduras. However, because of having had it, I cannot give blood.
This below from Anthony Weiner in a candid interview for CQ magazine regarding his wife and his apparent addiction to sexting:
Finally, Happy Halloween to one and all!